Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis

3668 WordsJun 17, 201815 Pages
In the 1970's a great power struggle began in Iran, leading to a profusion of civil unrest and mass emigration. In 1941 Iranian monarch Reza Shah, was removed from power by the United States and replaced by his son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who Westernized the highly conservative and religious nation. He continued implementing the Westernized laws set by his father, which were known to "discouraged democratic political expression in the public sphere" and condemned Islamic fundamentalism (Khosrokhavar 3). The largely conservative citizens of Iran protested the alterations in multiple movements in response to the westernization, financial failures, and perceived belief that the Shah was being controlled by Western powers for…show more content…
Babak Elahi mentions that “the link between ethno-national identity and language can be experienced symbolically, […] as a reflection of identity[…] of ethnocultural uniqueness and existence” (Elahi). Marjane Satrapi depicts her life as an Iranian child growing up during the revolution, moving from Iran to Austria and how her ideologies change in response to the Islamic Revolution and the war. Along with many other Iranian women's memoirs regarding similar experiences in Iran, Satrapi reflects on the burden of using memory to represent experiences a large group of people lived through. She depicts the experience, common to all emigrants, young and old, of being seen as a foreigner in her new home country and in her home country once returning. For example, when Marjane alters her whole appearance in Austria and begins to deny her Iranian heritage, she overhears a few of her peers talking about her at the local cafe: "' ...she never talks about either her country or her parents' 'she lies when she says that she's known war. It's all to make herself seem interesting'" to which she replied "'I am Iranian and proud of it!'" (Satrapi 196-197). Her attempt to assimilate into the punk culture in Austria is received by rumors being spread by peers, leaving her as an outsider. Similarly, when she is conversing with her old friends in Iran about
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